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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  October 4, 2012 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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so it is mainly getting factual predicates for everything, all the key issues on which governor romney has spoken in commerce and ryan is acted on. [inaudible] >> and now live coverage of the new jersey senate debate between them, bob menendez and republican challenger, joe kyrillos. it's the first of three debates in its courtesy of njtv in englewood. >> moderator: to those witnessing the debate live at the universities john jay kelley school of music and those participating to television, radio or the internet, welcome to our campus. the university's partners for today's event are njtv and the north jersey media group. we're pleased to serve as a hub
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for the many other news organizations that are covering this event live, including wnyc, wb wbgo-fm, c-span another news outlets. i would like to encourage your citizens throughout the state to be actively engaged in considering the issues and the candidates and to participate in the electoral process. thank you. ♪ >> at the john jay calley school of music. i am mike schneider, managing editor here at njtv. we welcome you to the first debate between the two major party candidates for the u.s. senate. u.s. senator bob menendez, democratic incumbent and republican challenger, joe
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kyrillos. question candidates tonight, the editorial page editor of "the record and herald news." brigid callahan harrison, professor of political science at state university. herb jackson, washington correspondent for the record hurt and my colligan chief clinical correspondent for njtv. we have questions reported earlier by the news director of wbgo-fm, doug doyle, which is seen throughout the broadcast. here's the rules throughout the debate. each candidate will have 90 seconds for an opening and closing statement in a show of 60 seconds to answer questions from our panel. then move onto the next question. there is a timing light here to keep us on schedule. it is my job to try and force that. the audience has promised once again to make my job a bit easier and show proper respect to the candidates by holding their applause until we have this broadcast. it conducted during the conversation during the
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broadcast come you can follow us on twitter using the hash tag and jay debate. let's begin. we tossed a coin. senator kyrillos goes first. kyrillos: mike, thank you very much and to njtv and montclair state for this debate. you know, i love this country. i love america. all of us are blessed to call america home. i am a product of the american dream. my grand parents came to this country and later my father and they lived a great american dream life. i grew up, i went to school, i became a state senator and i stand before you tonight a candidate for the united states senate. but that american dream is in peril. it is in peril for my son and daughter and our children and
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grandchildren across the land and we need to make a change. now, if you think things are just fine, that things are okay here in new jersey and across the land, well then you will choose my opponent again. but if you think that unemployment doubling -- juggling under his watch, the deficit is quadrupling, our national debt doubling is unacceptable, then you're going to make a change and you'll choose me. i believe in america and they believe that we can do better. >> moderator: senator menendez. menendez: goodies and a thank you toward debate sponsors. i'm pleased to be here with senator kyrillos. my life has taught me who i stand up for anyway stand up to
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in the united states senate. not many united states senators grew up in a tannic, but i did. my family returned to get us into the middle-class, white paid good jobs and to make sure women enjoy equal pay for equal work. early in my career, i raised my life testifying against a corrupt local official and that is why wasn't afraid to stand up to wall street, too big banks, to credit card companies that ripped up consumers. my sister and i cared for her mother until we lost her to alzheimer's. that is why fight against insurance companies to deny people coverage based on preexisting conditions and to make sure we eliminate the donut hole, the gap of prescription drugs for seniors. without the belief one teacher had in me and pell grants, i wouldn't be standing here before you today. that's why fight for funding for thousands of teachers to stay in the classroom teaching our kids and to make sure that college is
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more affordable by expanding pell grants and make sure that when interest rates were low. my experience has been like so many millions of new jersey and who work hard every day to try to advance the hopes and dreams and aspirations of their children. but the metaclasses under attack and that is why fight back in the united states than it should create good jobs, good health care, a quality education and retirement security we all deserve. >> moderator: senator, thank you. insert verse question that will come for me. when all is said and done, your campaign seemed to have slid into a fully attained, which we see each and every election season, which is your upper train your opponent in ways that voters have heard time and time again. the republican, senator kyrillos, you are portrayed as friend of the rich, someone will make middle-class pay more because the rich shouldn't have any sort of implications of
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their taxes changed. senator menendez, you will portrayed be a tax-and-spend liberal. let's move beyond clichés right now. tell me specifically, what one thing about your opponent makes him less qualified than you to serve in the u.s. senate. senator kyrillos, you can go first. kyrillos: well, senator menendez mentions the middle-class. he mentioned it tonight, does it fairly often. but up, the middle-class is not doing very well at all. we've got to do better. and so, you know, i read the press releases that you put out and i've heard your opening statement, but i don't hear any action items about how we are going to do it better. and so, i've got a plan. i know that if we do what we've been doing, more of the same, well, we will have the same outcome and that is unacceptable
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for the people of new jersey and unacceptable for americans. so let's do some things differently. if your way worked, well, we would have 43 straight months of 8% plus unemployment. let's get the job done. >> moderator: senator menendez. menendez: my opponent would take us back to the policies that got us in this mess in the first place. that's the biggest disqualifier. when he had an opportunity voted against him in the him in the wage and tax breaks when he had an opportunity, he ultimately cut funding for education that led to classroom teachers being left out of the classroom. when he had a chance to stand up for women in our state and though for equal pay for equal work, he walked out, didn't has to though. when he had an opportunity to vote for women in terms of their health care, not once, not twice, but six times he voted against women's health care and our state.
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i bought millions of dollars to help us in and litigate health care. so, when i listen to his jobs program, which is basically a rehash of tax as for the wealthiest people in the country, and acted dr. s. to the type of job creation that we want to see. we've been to that picture before and it's failed and that's why we can't go back to it. >> moderator: next question from alfred doblin. >> senator menendez, last night featured in the debate, governor romney talked to the shifting people currently under the age of 55 to a voucher like program for health care when they reach age 65. president obama's affordable care act doesn't offer a truly long-term fix to medicare. so what is your plan to keep medicare solid while not forcing seniors to fend for themselves? menendez: from the medicare is not an esoteric debate.
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my mom who worked in the factories of new jersey, worked really hard to get us into the middle-class in the triad of her life she was fighting alzheimer's. medicare was her health care security. it made a difference with her to live in the dignity she deserved. that's why under the affordable care act extended the life of medicare until 2024. and that is why we will continue to work to look at various proposals that will continue to extend the life of medicare. some of what we did is beginning to eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse. but as part of what extent of the life of medicare, by stopping over payments to insurance companies prospectively and also may be -- i don't know that warren buffett and bill gates made medicare. so maybe we have to look at what type of means testing should be considered to ensure that the life of the program continues to expand. we've already worked to ensure its expansion.
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>> moderator: senator kyrillos. kyrillos: well, we can't strengthen medicare and tell our members of congress and other leaders admit there is a problem. you know, as i watch the congress in action, i get the sense that they are not sure that there is a real issue at hand. they talk a lot about it, but they don't really do anything about it. so the first thing we need to do is be intellectually honest, point out the pitfalls, point out the future can make real change. for people my age and up, i'm 52 years old. these days, what things are just fine. for my children and four grandchildren of seniors today and they're concerned about their grandchildren, we are going to have to do some things differently. so let's work together, look at
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all the factors and not look at this from the point of view of ideology or partisanship, but practicality. this is a math problem and we need to fix it. >> moderator: our next question will be for senator kyrillos from brigid callahan harrison. >> as part of your campaign, you pledge to reduce taxes for all americans by 20%, paid for by some tax preferences and exclusions. if reducing income taxes is your goal, i was you propose to tackle her $16 trillion that? and if your response include spending cuts, can you please specify the programs that she would cut besides public funding for television as proposed by governor romney last night, and whether these guys are politically feasible.
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menendez: we have to raise revenue. i want to do it through growth. i want to make sure americans have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, which is what we have now appeared over the rate for everybody. you know, my opponent supports a plan they will increase the rates for everybody, beginning in january. a destiny to vote on it. it doesn't have to be considered. this is not a theory. this is on schedule. and so, when that happens, you can be sure that we are going to lose jobs. and so, the debt problem of our country is a severe one. it is at a crisis point. we need to grow revenue and we need to look at spending a minute to look at everything through a prism of what do we need, what can we afford, that which we may want and what we want but really can't afford,
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some are going to have to look at this in a very, very careful and honest way, unlike the way we've been doing it. >> moderator: senator menendez. menendez: i would like to lower corporate rates, too. you have to offset by closing tax loopholes because of the not you drive up gas in the same plants in the past continue to do. so if we are going to lower everybody's rate as my opponent would like him and that means less revenue to the treasury, so it has to come from somewhere. let me give you some suggestions. at the two and $24 billion in tax breaks to the big five oil companies who will make the chewing dollars in profits over the next 10 years. i don't think when they're making a shilling dollars in profits than eight or $24 billion in tax breaks. we can ultimately is that for debt reduction. i don't think we should be spending $6 billion in ethanol subsidies which is just about big acra farmers. i don't and we can use any
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offshore tax havens is that romney uses. i think there should be close. those are a series of things we can do. we're not talking about raising anyone's taxes. there's a lot that should be closed, so i think those are concrete examples of how you begin to move in that direction. >> moderator: weaver pretaped question on the economy that comes from wbgo-fm's director, doug doyle. let's listen to it. >> while so many people in suburban towns hour to get too much of the federal and state funding, what initiatives would you put in place to make sure that jobs are created in the inner cities, like trenton, newark and jersey city? >> moderator: senator menendez, europe first. menendez: i'm proud of the areas we work in our state. the reality is that transit villages, the new transportation bill. i'm glad to see that with my
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leadership on mass transit, new jersey will receive, an additional $70 million more. that legislation is looking at saving and/or creating about 52,000 jobs. a lot of those transit villages and opportunities are right in urban areas, using advantage of our infrastructure. livable communities. my legislation in that regard but hope communities that are not only urban, but the more suburban, but nonetheless very close to urban areas would create greater development opportunity as well. and so, we are going to continue to work with these communities so that in fact they can realize the future of their citizens. >> moderator: senator kyrillos. kyrillos: as i go around the cities of new jersey, i am so sad to see the poverty, to see
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the unemployment, to see that things haven't gotten better, that our national economy is such that it's even worse in the cities of new jersey from a once great thriving places. i worked hard in my career in the state senate to fight for jobs, economic development, for specific economic development initiatives as leader of the economic development committee when i was in the majority. and now, many of those incentive programs targeted to the urban areas of our state and many successes as well. i want to improve our schools in new jersey cities as well. we want to have some new reforms, the kind of which senator menendez doesn't seem to want to support the opportunity scholarship act, the paratrooper of love that i am sponsoring some parents can get a hold of failing schools.
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>> moderator: the next question, senator kyrillos' question. >> senator menendez, you were once chairman of the house democratic caucus. these are jobs you don't get without being a reliable member of your party and even after sometimes for solo party discipline. we have the most partisan congress other and his approval rating is 13%. will you do to break the gridlock? will you ever vote against her party and join groups like the gang of six trying to find common solutions on the budget deficit? >> i've been reforming state legislature my whole career, including whenever state chairman, i tried to connect myself as a voice for all the people when they didn't agree with the incumbent governor at this time.
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not just for republican activists, but for everybody. this is one of the biggest differences between senator menendez and me. bob is very rigid, very ideological. i want to work with everybody. i want to work with republicans. a lot of are for democrats. i want to work with independents. i went to work with whoever the president is. president romney or president obama, the problem with our country and with washington if it doesn't matter the greatness of the people. these guys don't communicate with each other. they don't get the job done. i'm going to go down there and get it done. >> first of all, i reached out and have so many successes. the highest rate of autism in the nation. we pass the combating autism into law, critical for those families. iran is a national security threat to the united states and allies in israel.
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i joined at the republican senator from illinois was passed in most crippling sanctions by one company against another and got a 100 [cheers and applause] zero vote in the united states senate, something you don't see too often. working with republican senator, chair of the housing subcommittee, we pass into law doubling housing. those are three of many examples i can. for i have worked with republican senators on the other site to make a difference for new jersey families. talking about bipartisan all-time, 90% of these those durand line with his party in the state legislature. every time his colleagues want to seek an override, he has never found once an opportunity to join them and say no. >> moderator: michael aron at the next question to senator menendez. >> senator menendez can the team
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to snipe at each other all the time. you seem to have a chilly relationship with governor christie dating back to 2006 when you were the target of an investigation when he was u.s. attorney in investigation that went nowhere. joe kyrillos by contrast is one of chris christie's best friends. economists at my best friend legislature. might the state be better off with, and set it to christiana meets in the u.s. senate, one enemy and one friend. kyrillos: i disagree with you in a salmon under the governor. i would have had the best insurance polis under the new law, affordable care act that new jersey got in the nation. his administration asked me to get a good deal for the department of human services. i did. i was the governor's enemy, i would have gotten our formulas to achieve a greater modify for new jersey transit riders and
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economic opportunity. if i was the enemy, would have joined him an advocate within with all the disaster we got so we could commence the president to send money to new jersey to help new jersey residents. though i have a professional, quarter relationship with the governor. but really is the question is who will go to the senate and stand up to the special interests and stand up for middle-class families. i stand up for them in washington. >> moderator: next question will be for senator kyrillos from alfred doblin. >> i want to go back to transportation. the future of amtrak -- >> country >> moderator: i apologize. senator kyrillos, you respond. even moderators are wrong occasionally. kyrillos: i am waiting to see some really good evidence that the middle-class doing well
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under their watch. and the things you cite with regard to your work with the governor and the state government, those are things you should do. that is part of the job description to be in the united states senator. those are special. as part of the in basket. what we are talking about here is the ability to communicate with the governor, whoever he is, with the rest of the congressional delegation come with other members of congress from around the country to produce positive outcomes. and when i talk to people, what i hear is that there is no real evidence that they and this panel knows me. people around the state know me and they know i have a very different style and that's what we need in washington right now. these guys don't get things done. now i am proud of governor christie. i think he's doing a really good job. we see things often, if not most of the time the same way, but we
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are very different people. we have different styles, with both of the best interests of the state at heart. >> this'll be a surprise that i'm going to go to transportation. the future of amtrak has still been a political football between democrats and republicans and between representatives from rural areas versus urban areas. if the future of amtrak tie to public or the partnerships, would you support the privatization of the northeast corridor? >> listen, i love taking the amtrak down to washington d.c. i hope to do a lot more, by the way concerning january. and i don't want to jeopardize that. i want to make sure that we get the job done. we want to fight for share of dollars here in the north east here and it's, very important
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and i'm going to be a champion in that regard. if there is a partnership that makes sense, i am open to listening to it. if we can privatize in a way that ensures service and quality and gets the job done and fares are reasonable and people can move from boston to new york to washington, let's take a look at it. let's not dig our heels into some corner. let's understand that reality, practicality, what is at stake for amtrak and for everything. i am about making things work. >> moderator: senator menendez. menendez: well, i hope you're going to come visit me a lot of amtrak and we will welcome you to our office, give your capital to her. but look, i'm amtrak, here is the reality. this is critically important come intercity passenger rail travel. it is important for commerce, for businesses to be able to
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send their sales forces throughout the entire northeast corridor. it is important to our citizens who want to go to a hospital and maybe need some specialty. it is important in a post-september 11th world, where we found the multiplicity of most of transportation is incredibly important, said there is a security element of it. and ultimately, it is one of the largest forms of transportation today. they are by slain on amtrak. you sometimes can't get a seat on amtrak these days. as of the northeast corridor, most particularly, is something i thought for and seek to preserve. >> brigid callahan harrison has a question for senator menendez. >> earlier you mentioned your iran sanctions resolution. regarding iran's president of nuclear capability, how much time do you feel we can give sanctions a chance to work?
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and what do you advocate employed to stop iran's nuclear capability beyond sanctions if any? kyrillos: thank you for the question. iran is a national security threat. that is why i authored the most crippling sanctions one country has ever leveled against another come against the central bank of iran and against any country that deals with the central bank of iran come a major financial transaction in major oil transactions. the result which is on his reports to that reality devalued by 40%. the numbers of shipments of oil dramatically reduced, heard in the ukrainian economy. our purpose of that set of sanctions an additional set of sanctions that i co-authored is to create an economic news on the regime to deter them from seeking nuclear weapons. so i believe the sanctions have time. even prime minister netanyahu
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suggested sometime next year, if the sanctions continue to cripple the ukrainian economy, i think we can deter them. if not, all options have to be in the table to pursue the national interest of the united states. >> moderator: senator kyrillos. kyrillos: that all sounds just fine, but unfortunately it doesn't appear the sanctions are working. too little too late and it's a very, very fearful time for our country and for the world at large. and so, i know that as a member of the senate, i am going to do everything humanly possible, through my boat, through advocacy and in every other way, to make sure that iran never, never gets a nuclear weapon. this is the greatest threat to
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our country and to the world. and i just hope that the folks in washington understand what is at stake. you mentioned the prime minister of israel, senator. i find it inexplicable that he was here in our country. in new york, not track train ride away in the president refused to meet with him. that makes me very nervous. >> moderator: at next question is from michael aron to kyrillos. >> you have criticized senator menendez was supporting it, simply through a timeline in afghanistan. you said quote, when the mission is complete, we'll bring the troops home and you defined the mission is disabling al qaeda and disabling the taliban and. the taliban are resurgent, or at least stubbornly persistent. are you prepared to see u.s. troops stay indefinitely?
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.. we know about the atrocities to women and so we haven't done a good enough job in educating our country about the bad guys that exist, that we need to meet them offshore before they come on
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shore. it has only been 10 years and a little more. since 9/11. >> moderator: senator menendez your response. menendez: i applaud the president from bringing our sons and daughters home from iraq, a war i voted against when i was in the house of representatives. i've been an advocate of changing our policy in afghanistan to one that is counterterrorism versus counterinsurgency. the differences counterinsurgency means we are trying to prop up a government in afghanistan and we fight against the taliban to prop them up. terrorism requires far less troops and national treasure and focuses on striking at al qaeda along the afghan-pakistan border and as well as any taliban resurgence that we might need for the purposes of being able to execute our counterterrorism fight. so i believe that the drawdown
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in afghanistan is well-positioned. i am actually and advocate of something that is more accelerated and i have been for quite sometime and i believe then we focus on a counterterrorism effort that would mean less lives in national treasure. >> moderator: our next question is for senator menendez. >> senator back on the economy, you said you support a comprehensive solution for the deficit that includes revenues and cuts in spending. can you name one wasteful program that you have successfully eliminated while you have been in congress? menendez: spf 22. i voted -- this is something that even the pentagon did not want in the administrative lot want but there were those that were advocating for it and i voted against the f-22 in voted against which ultimately was cut by the way. i voted on a different alternative fighter engine that was not necessary as well and that was cut.
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and those were two examples of programs that were cut but listen what i don't want to do is what my opponent says. he basically embraces the ryan budget. what does the ryan budget duquette sedans medicare as we know it, makes it a voucher. privatize the social security, dramatically cuts assistance to education in our country. look, someone who grew up in a tenement the first of my family to go to college, i want pell grants in perkins loans to be out there keeping student loan interest rates low so that every child can achieve a college education if they have the ability and are willing to work hard. so it's very important to do this in a balanced way from middle-class interest. >> moderator: 's senator said three. kyrillos: when i'm there we will have a job kyrillos budget that i will work for an compromise along the way without sacrificing the principle with my colleagues and with the executive branch.
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so bought there you go, you talk about congressman ryan. it's more of the same and it's always the other guys fault. you have been there a long time. your party has been in the majority of the senate now for a long time. i think your entire term. and so, i have some very specific plans. we have discipline here in new jersey. it's not always pretty but we deal with our state budget. we do what we need to do and we don't get to print money so we work hard and we have at least in the few years to make things right. we now spend 24% on the economy on government and i want to get it down to a historic place closer to 20% over time and that's going to take work and that is going to take some time but in this fullness of time we have no choice. >> moderator: a question for senator said three. >> senator said three s. united
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states senator you would be called upon to vote up or down on state court nominees. you have a limited test for judges and specifically for you senator kyrillos could you vote in the affirmative for a justice who you believe might find the defense of marriage act which determines same-sex couples are not entitled to benefits unconstitutional and senator menendez could you vote in the affirmative for a justice who might reverse roe v. wade? menendez: . i'm not going to have a litmus test. i've had experience helping to nominate judges, confirming judges to the state superior court and to the state supreme court as a member of the judiciary and as a member of the state senate. and i am going to look to nominees for their intellect, their experience.
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for their predisposition to not legislate from the bench, and i will look to nominate for the president of either party and treat them fairly. as i have in the past. >> moderator: senator? menendez: well i agree with my opponent that it's important to anyone who wants to be a justice of the supreme court. certainly intellect, temperament, experience, observance of the rule of law and precedent, but the supreme court is the final word of what is the law of the land and so therefore i don't want to see more justice scalia's who says that discrimination against women and discrimination based on gender is not protected under the constitution. when i go by the supreme court on my way to work every day,
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equal justice under law. it does not say equal justice for some people in america and not for others. and as it relates to roe v. wade, i support roe v. wade. i support a women's right to choose. my opponent, i don't know which choice he has. last tea self-identified as pro-life and now he says he is pro-choice. what we cannot commit to this election is someone that goes on to choice and is multiple choice. >> senator business and industry complained that the 2010 affordable care act will be prohibitively expensive and will cut into profits and slow the already now slow economic recovery. how you respond to critics that argue that the implement burden will wind up costing even more american jobs? kyrillos: the reality is what do we have before the law? double-digit premium increases, unsustainable for the private sector wants to offer insurance
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for their employees, unsustainable for the government and unsustainable for a family who may not get it at work. that was the reality before the law. millions of people in our country including 1.5 million new jerseyans with no insurance whatsoever going to an american -- as their primary care source and we had a set of circumstances in which insurance companies could freely discriminate against individuals. based on preexisting conditions. all of that is largely done away with the affordable care act when we get to full implementation. in fact many small businesses in our state have already begun to get access to the subsidies to offer insurance and so controlling costs, moving to a preventative health care system and making sure that we end the discrimination on insurance and making sure people are covered so they're not they are not driving the cost in an emergency room. >> moderator: senator
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kyrillos. kyrillos: i've been pretty clear about my position and we can talk about it now or another time. with regard to judges senator, i think it sometime -- point we will talk about the judge being held up for so long and contrast that to my record of supporting women to the bench. but the question at hand was, the affordable care act. well, there is no question that we have got big challenges in our country and there are elements of so-called obamacare. i saw last night that having it referred that way that we have got to have it and i supported it here in new jersey. people with preexisting illnesses should be covered. young adults should have sometime perhaps to stay on their parents policies. but, this law comes at a very,
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very high cost. >> 20 new taxes, $716 billion on medicare. >> moderator: the next senator -- question for senator kyrillos -- >> senator kyrillos early in the debate you said you often -- 43 months of over 8% unemployment and on your web site under joe's plan you say joe kyrillos and governor christie have shown there is a better way so why is unemployment in the state 9.9% which you have shown the better way? kyrillos: because we don't have a strong national economy because senator menendez and his colleagues in the executive branch are following a path that is failing us. and if we elect them yet again we will get more of the same.
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there is nothing wrong with our new jersey economy that are warring national economy would not cure. now here at home we are doing everything we can to make things right. wewe are balancing their budgets and doing it without tax increases. we are rolling out economic incentives and we are changing the culture of new jersey. we do things and and we doing to them bipartisan way because many of our six s. is quite frankly almost all of them by necessity we do with the democratic leadership in the legislature. and so can you imagine if your former colleague senator, governor corzine, was governor of the state. i know you are close to him and he appointed you to the seat originally but i can imagine new jersey would be doing better. we need a good american economy to come back or go. >> moderator: senator menendez. menendez: i find it interesting my opponent would like to cast all the ills of my doorstep but
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he has been in trip and were 24 years. property taxes are the highest, among the highest in the nation. you have tuition rates among growing to radically. you have less teachers in classrooms as a result of his votes and so you have unemployment high. when we bring money under the home keeper program, $300 million to keep people in their homes, they don't have the oversight to make sure it gets used so the reality is that what i have been doing is working to create jobs in new jersey. $52 million for a tech companies in 133 biotech companies in new jersey, 750 solar projects in new jersey putting people to work in 10,000 people working in the solar industry in new jersey along. i am thrilled at what i was able to do in that regard.
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the new transportation bill that is going to save up to $52,000 -- 50,000 jobs. matt mr. jackson has her next rich and for senator menendez. >> senator you know, january 1 we are looking at the fiscal cliff on taxes. you said that you will support extending it for everyone but the opportune that -- brackets even those people disproportionately live in new jersey. what we do if republicans continue to insist that all the tax cuts be extended? will you vote against it and increase everybody's taxes? menendez: the question is you hear my opponent talk about debt in how we need to come together around the debt, well if you just continue all the tax cuts and you continue to treat capital gains and dividends and everything and then lower the rates as he wants to, well my
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god, i don't know but that arithmetic doesn't work. and so the bottom line is that something has to give. my fight is for middle-class families in new jersey. that is why i voted to continue the last set of tax cuts because the republicans held middle-class tax cuts hostage to the tax cuts for the wealthy. my fight was to expand the child tax credit. my fight was to create the educational opportunity tax credit that help new jerseyans get their kids educated, and my fight that i lead with a republican colleague was to ensure that more than 2 million new jerseyans don't get hit by the alternative minimum tax in additional tax they should never be subject to. i succeeded working with republican colleagues. >> here are the facts. everybody's tax rates are going to go up in january. that is the plan. that is the schedule. i think i just heard that is what the senator and braces and
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wants. it's not about millionaires or billionaires. it's about the middle-class. that you supposedly care so much about, because those are the people that work for the small businesses that will be disproportionately impacted. one out of six people in america who work in the private sector will be impacted by these tax rates. the national federation of independent business has said that if they go in effect, we are going to lose 700,000 jobs in this country or go in new jersey, do you know how many? 20,000, and so michael just talked about the new jersey unemployment rate. we have got hundreds of thousands of people out of work now. do we really want to raise taxes on people now? and have more people out of work so i want to lower their rates and i want to deal with the
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deductions at at that senator menendez talks about. lets get rid of those deductions and loopholes and exemptions the choke up the tax code. simplify things. >> moderator: you have a question for senator kyrillos. >> senator kyrillos congress did away with earmarks officially knowing they never wanted them unless they come back to their home district. how would you bring back dollars to new jersey in this environment and what would you identify as the most pressing new jersey project in need of federal funding? kyrillos: well unfortunately, these guys abuse the earmark process. they were excessive. and of course now we are at a point with their debt problem that we can't afford them. so i'm going to fight tooth and nail for every project that can come back home within the confines of formulae and other
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plans that exist for people to compete for. and i'm going to be very active and visible all around the state. we lost a big army bait in monmouth county. they didn't just employ people in monmouth county but people all around new jersey. senator i'm not sure where you were in that fight. i didn't see it. and of course we lost those jobs and we lost that base and the move to aberdeen maryland at a sky-high price tag to the american taxpayer. and so the existing army base, the megabass that is what we have to work for. >> moderator: thank you sir. senator menendez? menendez: can i go a little over? >> moderator: i've got you covered. menendez: look, joe you are entitled to an opinion but not the facts.
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the reality is that when the base of fort monmouth, i didn't have the privilege at the time as that process was going on. so, you know, that is not when you can subscribe to me. i joined colleagues who were representing the area to be supportive but look, you know and all the suggestions that all the taxes are going to go up in january, that is a great scare ruled that no one is going to allow that to take place. no one is going to allow that to take less than the lame-duck session. they have something in track than they used it until not too long ago that are called christmas tree items and i'm sure you had your share of them. taking part of the federal budget that's going to exist no matter what insane do you know what? there are some important things in my state i know better so a new trans-hudson tunnel like the one we had is important to opening up and creating jobs and
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economic opportunity. >> moderator: i gave you five seconds plus the five these president wanted last night. >> senator actually each of you, would you please outline your position on the issue of choice and if you could please explain any inconsistencies in the public records throughout your political career on the position that you are advocating this evening? kai rimm i have been consistent in my support of choice and in support of a woman's right to choose. i support roe v. wade. i have voted in ways to allow women to have the critical health care they need so that they can make their own decisions and have the health care they need. as a matter of fact we dramatically expanded health care and access to contraception under the affordable care act which i support. my opponent however last year he self-identified as he was running for the state senate as
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pro-life. now he says he is pro-choice and as i said earlier we cannot afford as it relates to a woman's right to choose to be multiple choice. and so i have a very clear and consistent and continuous record in supporting women's right to choose and i don't seek to abrogate that right. i want women to make their own decisions about their health care and their bodies. >> moderator: senator kyrillos or response? kyrillos: it's a very serious subject and i will have to look to whatever it is that you are referring to, bob. i voted for and advocated for some pro-life initiatives that reflect the seriousness of the subject and subject and at the end of the day i think people have to make up their own minds. i have always felt that way but i believe in parental notice for young teenagers.
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i would support the short waiting period and i don't believe in late and third trimester abortions. the europeans look at this in a similar way. they let people make up their own mind but they have reasonable constraints that reflect the seriousness of the subject. and that is how i feel and i think most americans frankly as i talk to them, most people in new jersey, most people feel the same way. and i have supported millions of dollars to funding for women's health. a very long career. >> moderator: gentleman it may be hard to believe that we have reached that, ready. it's time for the closing statements. we have covered a lot of ground here this evening and we once again thank you for being here, for being open and for discussing these issues which are of paramount importance to the american people as we prepare to make a decision on election day.
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the candidates to remind our audience get 90 seconds for their closing statements. a reminder once again that the audience in the hall to refrain from applause until both are done speaking although they have been exemplary in their behavior this evening. there was a coin toss once again to choose who would go first and second. senator kyrillos threes -- please begin with your closing statement. kyrillos: thank you everyone. this debate offers a really clear contrast after 20 years shinkman senator ad buys said i believe you would offer more of the same and i'm offering real solutions and the promise that we can do better. it's that simple. more of the same from bob menendez or a better future from joe kyrillos. my father came from -- looking for a better life and he worked hard and he found it. that is the american dream. i believe in that dream.
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i believe in the opportunity for people to work hard, to better themselves and make a great life for themselves and their families. the senator says he is concerned about the middle-class. i am concerned about the middle-class. the middle class isn't doing very well. joe biden let it slip out the other day, they have been buried, buried under debt, out of work, arid with high gas prices. shovel-ready senator? if you listen closely to senator menendez you will realize if we relax him we will get more of the same. more taxes on the middle class, and more peril for our children's future. america is in a crisis. if you can believe that we can do better, and i do, that we can improve the lives of all of our citizens, put them back to work and keep this american dream
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alive and well for our children and for our grandchildren, you will choose me. >> moderator: senator kyrillos thank you. menendez: i want to thank our moderator and panel and all of you at home for watching. the middle-class is under attack and that is why had been fighting back or quite led the charge to crack down on wall street's abusive practices and credit cards abusive practices. i champion targeted relief to the middle-class and those things that can help them raise their families. my opponent votes for tax breaks for millionaires but then votes against middle-class interest. i help stop insurers from deadline -- denying coverage for preexisting conditions. he wants to repeal the law that made all of that possible. i supported tax credits and incentives that make work pay here and stop sending it abroad. and yes there are tax provisions that give credit to companies that actually take jobs abroad. i have voted to close those.
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my opponent has plans that are very different. i fought for equal pay for equal work and helps pass the law but does that does that and delivered federal funding for women's health care. my opponent walked out on the paycheck fairness, didn't pass a vote and not once, not twice, but six times he voted against funding for women's health care in our state while i was putting millions of dollars for those women to get health care. his votes put thousands of teachers out of the classroom. might votes put thousands of teachers back in those classrooms, so i understand the challenges of middle-class families in this day. that is why i've i have been working hard on jobs, and making sure that health care is there and i will continue to fight for the middle-class and that is why i asked for your vote in this election. >> moderator: gentleman we will leave it there. we thank you sincerely for coming here. we asked at the beginning of the evening to come out and state your case to make your opinions
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known, to make your difference is known. you did it come you did it civilly and we are the better for. we close with thanks to our panelist, bridget callahan harrison and my colleague michael erin and of course to doug as well. to the record and herald news for their support and sponsorship and of course the montclair state university as well. and for the candidates themselves the u.s. senator bob menendez in new jersey state senator joe kyrillos. now from the recital center in the john jay kelley school of music at montclair state university and that is a mouthful, i am mike schneider. thank you for watching njtv and to our audience thank you very much for being here as well. [applause] ♪
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>> almost 20 years ago we broadcast one of the most controversial stories in our 44 years on the air. it was called yes but is it art? i was accused of being a philistine, someone lacking the aesthetic sensibility to appreciate the challenging nature of some contemporary art. in those 20 years, works that i questioned worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are now worth hundreds of millions. >> so what made everybody so mad 20 years ago? >> i'd discovered something that
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i had absolutely could barely believe, that when you question someone's taste in art, it is more personal, more probing than politics, religion, sexual preference. it is something that goes to the very soul when you say, you bought that? >> syrian opposition activist today predicted that the assad regime will fall by next summer. the u.s. institute posted the activists who are part of a group called the day after project. they presented a transition plan for syria which they say it started being used by the opposition areas no longer under
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assad's control. this is just under two hours. >> good morning ladies and gentlemen. i am jim marshall the new president of the institute of peace which i'm delighted to tell you and i'm also very pleased that everyone is here today for a very important, to hear about a very important projects sponsored by the institute of peace. my job principally is to introduce steve heideman. steve stevens or senior advisor for middle east initiatives. he has taught at columbia. he is extensively published, has also directed the center for democracy and civil studies and civil society at georgetown university. he is a terrific asset to the institute. this project is one that is driven by syria with assistance,
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technical assistance and other kinds of assistance from the institute and sister institution in germany. it is very important that these kinds of efforts be driven by local populations, things that are handed down from the united states that typically don't work all that well and so we are very pleased that you're all here. i hope you have lots of questions and steve if i could turn this over to you. >> thank you very much gem for opening this morning and let me add my welcome. we are delighted to see you while here this morning. it's going to be of very a very very interesting conversation about syria after assad and the challenges of managing a post-assad transition. as jim mentioned, this event this morning is in many ways the culmination of a project that has been in gestation for about nine months and many
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similarities to other -- [inaudible] this event this morning is an opportunity for us to discuss a document the day after, which we have available for you to pick up upstairs both in arabic and in english on a cd. it contains strategies, ideas, recommendations for how syrians can cope with a broad range of challenges that are inevitably going to follow. the transition to a post-assad air of in syria. what is critical to stress as jim mentioned is that this is very much the product of deliberation and discussion and debate, sometimes quite heated debate, among a group of about 45 to 50 significant figures
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within the syrian opposition who came together every month for a period of six months to work through the idea -- the ideas that were presented in this document. what i would like to stress however in getting us started this morning is that when we began, our conception of what we were doing was thinking about issues and challenges that would arrive at a moment some distance in the future. we imagined ourselves thinking about how to plan for problems that were on a somewhat distant horizon. is the syrian revolution has unfolded however it has become increasingly clear to us that we need to revise our conception of the document and revise how we think about its potential to make a difference in the lives of syria and today.
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what we are seeing in syria is a process in which transition is not going to happen through the overthrow of the assad regime as a dramatic event that changes the political landscape from one day to the next. what we are seeing is an incremental transition in syria. we are seeing a transition that is unfolding in a rolling fashion, beginning in areas that have been liberated from government control and have exercised authority over their own local affairs, sometimes for periods of many months. so as we recognize that in fact the transition to a post-assad era is already underway in many parts of syria, the lessons and strategies and ideas contained in this document no longer become a matter of speculating
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about the future. they become an opportunity to develop concrete programs and concrete strategies that can make a difference in consolidating the processes of transition that have already begun in those areas of syria that are today moving outside of the control of the syrian government. and that gives are documented in urgency and a relevance that we are very anxious to build on in the next phases of our work as we move out beyond what we have done thus far to produce this document and think about how to make it meaningful in the everyday lives of syrians who are now beginning to build features for themselves, free from the authority of the
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authoritarian assad regime. it's very much in that spirit that we want to talk about that document this morning. not only to provide you with some background about its origins and the process through which it was produced, not only to talk about some of the ideas that it contains and some of the key recommendations that it makes in the issue areas that are panelists focused on, but how we can use the document as a tool to facilitate the consolidation of transitional areas beginning right away. what we would like to do this morning to get started is you have the bios of our speakers in the agenda so i'm not going to go through them myself. you can reference them. the panelists will speak in the order in which they appear on the agenda. i would also like to ask that we are being webcast and there is a
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viewership on line, which we invite to submit questions to us, through our web site. we will also be tweeting about the offense and we encourage those who are following the event on twitter to send in questions as well and we will integrate those into our conversation as the morning unfolds. i am afraid i also need to mentioned the standard comment about your cell phones or other devices you might have. if you would please silence family would appreciate it but to get us started in this conversation about our document, we would like to turn to professor who served on the executive committee of our day after project to tell us a little bit about its origins, its genesis in the process through which this group of
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syrian develop the content of the day after report. >> thank you very much, steve. i would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to steve because without you, we would not have come as far as we have and i would like to say that from the start. by june, 2011 when the syrian uprising has been sort of slowly building its base, it was becoming clear to us who were involved in the opposition that there was a very critical component that was missing for us. it was our ability to answer a question that kept coming back to us time and time again and we were hearing it not just on the inside that we were hearing it from the outside as well. by outside and mean both in terms of syria and living
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overseas, may be living in the u.s. or elsewhere and very importantly also from administrations, governments around the world and obviously from the street itself, from the very people we were trying to convince that this is an important change that had to come that assad had to go. the question was always coming back to us, who is the alternative? it was always focused on who. realize we were facing a critical issue here. people are still thinking in terms of changing one individual for another, one authoritarian figure for another and we are not moving forward. we felt was important to begin to get people to think, what is the alternative? in order for us to be able to answer that question we also had to be able to have a clear vision if he that they could articulate to people, the people
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who are engaged in the opposition and its work could articulate to those who were asking are asking that question both inside, outside and administrations, what is the alternative going to look like? this is where a group of syrian opposition members, some living inside in some living outside began having a series of conversations on how to begin to develop this idea of what is the alternative. also this is when steve and usi stepped in and we started to work with them in terms of beginning to develop this idea. over the next few months, the core concept of how we are going to begin to develop such an idea
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take shape in by january 2012 the first of our series of meeting takes place in berlin. we were able to gather almost 60 syrian opposition members some just activist from inside of syria, some very prominent well-known figures in samba long to organizations such as the syrian national counsel or the lcc or many of the other numerous entities that are part of this opposition and others are just dependent. persons who happen to have a certain level of expertise or experience in a certain area that we felt would be of great assistance to us. over the coming months, the syrians would meet regularly. usually once a month in berlin
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and sometimes in some cases twice a month and as we begin to address six core areas, these were transitional justice, security reform, social and policy reconstruction, electoral reform and rule of law. the experts were divided amongst these six categories and what each then work within that group to try and develop a vision or for an answer to the question of what is the alternative going to be. as steve pointed out, the discussions were sometimes robust and we never necessarily sought to gain absolute agreement over everything but what was important for us was to get many of the ideas, many of the fish and the people had and articulate them in a forum that could be then be used by a
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future forms transitional government or an entity that would eventually emerge from the opposition so that when the regime falls they would have the necessary information and mechanisms and support that they would need in order to see this transition through. it's important for me to also state that we are not the only people who have set out to do something like this. there are also -- other people who have also done more focused perhaps for similar types of work and the tda or the day after along with all the other efforts that are out there will ultimately be there at the disposal of the transitional government that will ultimately emerge to than use and apply a
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system in terms of administering the transition process. i think one last point i would like to make before i pass it onto my colleagues because i think they would each like to tell you more about the various sectors that they worked on. it's important to note that transition does not weekend -- there's a misconception that somehow transition begins when the regime falls. transition begins now. you have to prepare for a culture change. you have to prepare the ground for people and you have to explain to people how this transition process, there are key fundamental concepts that people have to become familiar with and people have to begin to accept or at least be introduced to so when the transition happens we are prepared and we hit the ground running. there is already a lot of work things done in these areas.
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right now there are large parts of syria that have already been liberated from the assad regime and from the current government control and already people there are actually actively living and practicing this transition, and our work in and the work of others is now being applied. we can see and we can begin to see the results of our efforts and we can also evolve our efforts. this is an evolving document. it is not a set document that is done. this in the involving document and we intended to be as such. we are now actively participating in the development and application of the document. now i will pass it to mike colleague who will take it from there. >> before you jump in you mentioned something very important which is the work that needs to happen now to begin
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creating a change in the mindset and the orientation of syrians on the ground about the future and the work on the transitional justice component of the document. i think it was dealing with one of the issue areas in which that change is most urgent and the most essential. if you were called back in late may, news began to leak out from syria of an atrocious massacre committed in the village. it turns out that was only the first of what were then many similar massacres. that brutality, the escalation of violence directed against civilians, has had an extraordinary corrosive effect on the mindset of syrian participating in this revolution. it has deepened intra-communal hatred. it has deepened the desire for
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revenge on the part of those who are victims. it has created additional constraints for those who are wavering in their support for the regime about what would happen to them if they were to side with the opposition, and the transitional justice framework, the transitional framework field offers of strategies and opportunities to provide alternatives to syrians on the ground today that can respond to the demand for justice, the legitimate demand for justice, the legitimate demand that perpetrators be held to account in ways that do not fall back on revenge, cycles of revenge, cycles of violence and killing. that would only delay serious
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transition to a stable, peaceful and potentially democratic political air and the post-assad air. the arena in which afra is working is one that we feel drives us most urgently to become engaged in work on the ground in syria. >> for many people serious am urged suddenly in the media. within the context of the arab spring and that is the nature of global media that we tend to become aware of a crisis situation after something has been going on for a long time. syrians have been suffering under marshall law and their brutal a brutal dictatorship for the last four decades and even more. so much has been happening in syria but on the outside it seems like a stable society so civility was more euphemism.
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syria is a deeply traumatized society. we have had massacres and disappearances went there was an uprising that also turned somewhat into a the conflict and in the regime brutally crushed, causing the death of over 13,001 town called hamas as some of you are familiar with. in a 27 day military campaign. and in the next following 10 years which would inform me why the syrians are willing to sacrifice so much, and the following 10 years the syrian regime collectively punish the society. they were about -- is almost an impossibility to meet a syrian who has not been directly or indirectly through family friends, not impacted by this regime. just to give you some example, have they cousin who has been
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imprisoned for 31 years without trial. it took his family years even though it was alive, we have common friends on this panel who don't know actually the fate of their disappeared parents. and so syria for a long time does not experience the rule of law and accountability in the discourse of human rights. so this project, though it is not binding in many of its recommendations, what it is trying to do is to raise the bar within syria in the political discourse we have had for the last decade. the regime lowers the bar in the national discourse. there was no mention of human rights even though syria was one of the members that signed the human rights treaty but it never, never followed it so there were always arbitrary
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tensions and incredible levels of torture to constantly scare the syrians. so if you have a very -- situation in the last year and a half that was intensified systematically and consistently and you saw the fate of the regime that the syrians have been enduring for these last decades and the suffering underground that came to the surface. this would explain the willingness and the resilience of the syrian people not to go back because they knew they could not win this revolution so what this revolution started with is to bring syria back to the rule of law and that is why it was a revolution of dignity and not poverty or hunger and that is why transitional adjustment is at the core of the post-assad. not because a process that would allow the syrians to come back to the march of history. we have been isolated for a very long time, over 18 million
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syrians are in exile in a country that has forced people to leave voluntarily or sometimes involuntarily and so what we want to do in this project is to provide a framework where syrians are empowered to take the states back into their hands and to create a culture that is based on the rule of law and accountability where a syrian does not disappear without anyone even capable sometimes of asking about them. and so we wanted to create a framework that focuses on healing and reconciliation in creating a political discourse based on accountability. so i don't want to get too much into detail with us because you will find that in the document. we tried to focus on mechanisms that would allow that conversation to begin by encouraging the syrians to
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commit in the post-assad period to use illegal existing legal structure and the paralegal structures. there are a lot of laws in different regions in syria that use mediation as arbitration and so that would actually help the legal result. given the amount of violations in syria it would be impossible actually to use only legal framework to allow that healing and that transition so transitional justice as some of you are familiar with, deals with different mechanisms that would allow that healing in that transition. there are two commissions that would allow the syrians to be able to tell what happened to them because sometimes what we have found in looking at other examples in latin america or eastern europe and even in south africa, that when people even if they do not have those who violated them tried, but they
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weren't able to tell what happened to them, when they were able to share their experiences and their suffering was acknowledge, there was a great deal of healing. so we tried to create a framework in which there would be a four radey of approaches to transitional justice and not commit to one specific framework. we also wanted to make the syrians aware that transitional justice is not just a legal process but that it is something cultural as well and something so theological that they could all participate. we wanted to give them recommendations that would allow them to actually be empowered as citizens and participate in the process. i will stop here and give the microphone to my colleague and of course continue the conversation later. thank you. >> thank you very much afra. that was a terrific introduction to that piece of the project.
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the security sector reform work of our project and it is the second issue area that has absolutely critical implications both to the fate of the syrian revolution and for its future. it includes questions like what do we do about the massive internal security apparatus that the syrian regime has created? what happens to it in the offense that a more conference of transition process as possible? it also includes questions about how do we ensure the provision of the day-to-day security during a transitional period? it includes questions like how do we avoid the kind about come that we have seen and in a case like libya, where the fall of the old regime left in its wake dozens of armed militia groups whose activities we have seen recently culminated in the kind
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of violence that brought about the murder of an american diplomat, chris stevens christie benjamin ghazi. how do we begin thinking now about strategies and profit processes for the reform of institutions and for the transformation of the broader culture in syria that has elevated security and the security apparatus to a position that supersedes the democratic processes, the rule of law and formal institutions and subordinates them to the preferences of those who run the security apparatus? how do we get syria out of that kind of context and into one in which the security or functions in a fashion consistent with rule of law? these were the challenges that we are reviewing. >> thank you very much ladies and gentlemen and this is a work in progress as more and more
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areas are being liberated. this document -- it is a list of suggestions for a future transitional government but nonetheless we continue to work on it to be relevant to what is happening today. also syria has been under marshall law since 1963 and so we have taken all these things into account, marshall law, the fact that the syrian army has been an ideological army whose purpose really along with the intelligence services was only to prop up an authoritarian regime. and so we laid out some principles in the security sector, the most important of which i think is the civilian authority over the army, an army
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that would be -- that would provide an environment through the citizenry to be able to express themselves politically and economically and socially and also an armed forces that would defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of syria. this sector of the armed forces, the intelligence services, national police, would be a political. we thought at of the many challenges ahead and there are are there are a number of challenges. we have taken some examples of as lessons learned from iraq, from libya and we are under no illusion that they would be some measure of chaos the day after the collapse of the assad regime. this may include civil
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disturbances, looting and certainly will include an instrument of firschein power who tries to destabilize the situation that is already highly unstable so we come together on these potential challenges that we face ahead as we try to see the possible solutions for each. very luckily for us there are many regional military councils that have endorsed the civilian authority over the military. this is good news. we note that the national police and syria have for the most part, for the most part have left themselves out from this crisis and so there are many elements within the national police that we will be identifying and many elements
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within the regular forces that we can rely on after the collapse of the assad regime that puts the security forces to weigh before see it. there will not dna pacification. this was a lesson learned from europe and we don't want to paralyze or kill the institutions of security. certainly does who are socially exempt are the intelligence services as they are the ones that have the most blood on their hands. let me stop here and we will be cat -- happy to take her questions. thank you. >> in addition to the concerns that afra and murhaf discuss perhaps the other significant dimension of the conflict with which our project engage concerns the economic and social reconstruction. the revolution has produced
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extraordinary destruction across syria. the images in aleppo yesterday following the bombings that took place there were horrific but unfortunately they were far from unusual. that level of destruction is present in towns and cities from one end of syria to the other. ..
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projection there'll be 700,000 refugees in syria by the end it years. these are extraordinary numbers. and again, the efforts involved in addressing the needs and concerns of economic reconstruction will be hugely influential in shaping the state of a post transition on transitional offers that have begun under way. but even as the international community themselves rescued with those issues, there is the added concern that the institutions of economic government that existed in syria that developed in syria throughout the aside. are utterly corrupt, nepotistic, inefficient and that too has to be a just and a process of economic and social reconstruction. and so here again we have another ram over the scale of the challenge is his enormous end date and parents beginning now to try to respond is very,
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very critical about that, i'll turn things over to a rafif jouejati who worked on our social and economic committee. >> thank you, steve. thank you, everyone, good morning. as sad sad and and rami and steve have said, we are the connect the immediate needs of the internally displaced. we are looking at a refugee crisis outside of syria. we are looking at the absolute devastation across the entire country. so how could we prioritize? we realize all of the challenges had to be handed currently. and so what we did is we established a series of objectives, through which we could address our economic and social issues, but also support
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some of the other areas we've talked about, like transitional justice and rule of law according to reform the security sector. so our first objective is really to consolidate peace, to put an end to the bloodshed, to stop the killing. we also looked at means of ending sectarian violence and additional bloodshed to revenge killing. another objective is to the urgent humanitarian needs in terms of medical care. psychosocial support for population that has been traumatized. not only through the revolution, but through the forefront decades of humanitarian bowl. we looked at restoring basic services, such as water, sanitation, electricity and education. as a means to help develop civil society. we looked at rehabilitating the
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physical infrastructure and determining which area could be saved first. so as to resettle the maximum number of people. one of our most important object is in this area is to empower local communities. and we see that happening in many of the liberated areas. we believe that one of the keys to empowering the local community assist in the creation of jobs and we see an excellent example today where the local community has impaired local bakery. it is producing brad for almost 80% of the population. there is a police force complete with new uniforms representing the revolution. it is becoming a self-sustaining community. so this is a major priority for us. we also discuss promoting
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macroeconomic stability by fostering activity at the local levels in line with an power rating the local communities. and we did talk in our committee about the slow process of dismantling the legacies of the baathist regime, not necessarily in transforming society away from the corruption and nepotism. but we have today is a situation, where even the slightest transaction requires bribes, where the cousin of the president is known as mr. 10%, were businesspeople nobly to me they cannot affect any transaction with etiquette back to the government. so this is another major priority for us. and there are others i am certain we will revisit as we continually update the document. >> we spent a great deal of time. our syrian colleague spent a
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great time discussing that, debating it. the document now exists in the question is what happens to it from here? i've mentioned my sense of making case peak for the group as a whole that this is not a document, which targets some future transitional process beginning at a date yet to be determined, that is a document that informs how we engage and support of the syrian opposition today. but how does that happen? what kind of steps can we take to ensure that this doesn't just gather dust on the shelf? one thing we are very pleased about is that the document has become something of a reference point for global debate and discussion about processes of transition in syria. it has been endorsed by the syrian national council. it has strong support among the.
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muslim brotherhood. it's been very widely circulated among local coordination committees inside of syria. it was endorsed by the european union parliament in a resolution that was passed on september 13th. so there is broad, global awareness of the report, support for its contents. back in and of itself isn't enough to ensure that what the work that has gone into it will begin making a difference on the ground. and that is the challenge that we are now turning our attention to. and i would like rami nakhla, with them on shared home i've had the privilege of working with over the last nine months as coordinator u.s. ipu role in this project to talk about precisely what is happening from here, what we intend to do with
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it, to make sure that it does begin to make a difference on the ground. >> thank you so much, stephen. actually it will start not from malcolm in the day after the project to have influence on the ground in syria. it has been 15 months since i met chief in beirut. that was the first time i met you. and i was talking to you about my revolutionary fiction and you seem more skeptical about the outcomes of this. you are more interested to talk about how to take it from a to be. it's very important what is going on here. my group is working with the local coordination committee back then are we started debate about the day after. we assess our capacity to work on this issue. we were aware that the day after
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is not really something far away. it is starting right now. it is happening while we were in the first few months of the uprising. we realize that as the cera nonphysician, we are young. that family were five unsold. i consider the first day of the uprising. we do not have the capacity to undertake such big projects. we don't have the entities that can handle such a project. and the debates among us i conveyed to you the feed back and i don't need to do this. this is exactly what we are expecting from the democratic war, from an established democratic, we need the experience and the support. and then after that, i got in
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the usaid and we started working on this. i will start now to talk about the document, how we presented to the syrian people. we have been telling everybody, we are not trained to tell the syrian transition government what to do or what not to do. this is on the first of more than 50 union members -- members of the opposition. the expert researchers, we supported by international expertise and not the demands that we have discussed. and we came up with this recommendations, how to take it from a to b., how to make sure that supervision is achieved. we are not saying what we want to do in this document.
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we are saying how we're going to to do it. and that is what we have been debating with syrians right now. but at the same time, we visit them this way, but in the same time, we are very confident of the method that leads for this document. we are very confident on the expertise and the case studies we have been researching and the results that we have come up with. and we will save no after to do our best to implement this implementation. and that so many different levels, the executive committee of the day after project, they consent to gather and we formed a day after association. also, usip continues to support
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the day after project and the planning and we will establish his transition support. i have been in turkey a few days ago and we are looking for office there and we will establish this office and a place where we can be in touch directly with syrian people, with the syrian activists, with the network's leaders, most of them keep advancing network, keep to disseminate the day after the project implementation and ticket from there. we have reached an international actor. they've been reached out for a document. they need to support our effort for the implementation of the day after project.
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usaid is supporting the day after association and they will keep supporting. and moving back to istanbul, i will relocate to assemble to continue the war and the recommendation of the day after project in many different levels in the transitional justice, we are working towards the authority committee for the transition of just this. and the rule of law as well, we have reached out from arabian donor's choice security set to reform and continue working on the implementation of the day after project in this sector. so, actually, steve, i have the opportunity to thank you. you have invested tremendously
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in this project. thank you for usaid and thank you for her german partner. we are really a syrian generation. this is exactly what we expect from you to help us and we are really thankful. >> well, thank thank you very m. we have some very good material to work with if they think this group has made clear. rami, you mentioned the importance of communicating ideas to the syrian people themselves. and that is something we are attentive to and have begun to develop strategies as part of our project. and rafif jouejati has been centrally involved in one of the staffers with the support of the swiss ministry of foreign affairs and perhaps you'd like to take a minute to tell this group about one of the frameworks we have developed to
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communicate ideas from the project inside of syria. >> certainly, thank you. we are working with the union of free syrian student who have a network of approximately 80 branches throughout the country. they have the document and are circulating it to different communities. but in addition to that, we have developed a communications campaign that will be rolling out in the coming days. it is called syria belongs to us and we are going to different communities, different generations, different sectors of the economy, to reinforce the messages we have in our recommendations out of each of the six working areas. so for example, we are reaching out to religious altars to appeal to their communities, to not engage in revenge killing, or to impress upon communities they need to not seek revenge. we are going to the business community to appeal to them to
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be conscious of the need to jumpstart some local communities and empower different sectors of society. we are looking at protecting some of the vulnerable communities. the women, the children, certainly minority communities. so you will see this rolling out for those of you on twitter, please look out for the hash tag. we will be releasing videos to keep that message going. outside syria, but especially inside. >> thank you. thankthank you very much. would like to open things up and begin a conversation with you. there are microphones on either side of the auditorium and we would ask you to line up the high and the mike's in order to ask our presenters here this morning questions. while folks are lining up or getting ready for questions, i would like to say that the institute as well needs to thank
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a number of individuals in the two shoes who helped make this effort possible, not only the syrian opposition participants who committed an extraordinary amount of their time to it, but the state department and middle east partner initiative, which provided funding for the effort from the swiss ministry of foreign affairs and dutch ngo key those under in the, all of these organizations provided support that helps make this effort possible. we felt it is very important to do this work in a setting that could be perceived by all of our syrians as a safe space within which they could talk in confidence and build trust among one another. those meetings were facilitated by a german partner, the swiss institute for international and military affairs, s. debut p. and so, this was really a
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collection of participants, partner supporters that made this effort possible and we hope will continue to support the workers remove forward. so let's begin now and i will just move across as questions arise. please identify yourself before you ask the question. >> alvarado with the national center policy group. this question is for ministry and four. can you explain the prospects, possibly extending back prior to the revolution and possibly back in 1963? and can you explain, maybe the importance of covering this. i'm also the challenges that this may face, open implementation and impossible peace negotiations with the government? >> we tried to actually deal with this because we have a
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pressing issue of the least and try ovation and that is extremely a significant wound in the syrian moments, given our recent and how large, and as my colleague and friend here, rafif, was discussing the destruction. it is really an overwhelming reality at the moment. however, you have syrians who have been impacted very much throughout the last decade. the way we try to do with this in the document is the recommended two committees that would have historic committee dealing with violations of human rights purge of the revolution and will have a committee that is dealing with the recent violations. of course we would run into the challenge of documentation, but this is a process that syrians have to go through because really we have not counted were
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really given syrians a sense of accountability for what is happening for them, for the disappearance and all that they went through. serve recently in a workshop in istanbul that rami and iraq, which actually gave us a sense of how the syrians are responding in positive ways to the document. many activist thinking about these issues and yet did not always have the answer and they were expecting to find some of the recommendations we were making. they have some reservations about even the word historic. they said they liked very much the idea behind that, but they did not want to history because that would give syrians a sense that these were dated violations, that they were somewhat historical issues. they wanted a turned that would actually look into that. they wanted a turn but actually expressed relevance and even
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they would be treated as fresh violations because they were never dealt with. we are hoping to create a framework in which all of violations will be heard and will be a process of documenting and verification for evidence. they were in the national presidency area, where many were buried without being identified. so all of that has to be handled. if you look at the document, there is specific recommendations. regarding the negotiation issue the document at the moment and the syrian people at the moment are not really thinking about negotiating with the regime because the regime itself has put itself in a very stiff position in its place the syrian people and the place where they even acquiesced to a slave like situation where they will be destroyed and shelled and bombed. so internationally, the regime
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has been doing actually a doublespeak and playing games. assist in the international community coming yesterday while straw had a machinery and we will negotiate with the opposition. but on the ground, it is completely the opposite, even the day they sent the tanks and bombed the city. so syrians have been seen in the senate is kind of an interesting technique to see how a dictatorship is trying to seem as applying in subscribing to the norms of the international committee for discretion if people were really more violent way. >> thank you. serve. >> yes, good morning. thank you for having a sigh. i am giancarlo can also talk radio service. my question is action want to comment. thank you for saying this is a blueprint -- not a blueprint,
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but a work in progress and i appreciate that. i know that you talked about a range of internal issues. what concerns have you addressed regarding serious role in the region, regarding israel's concern that potentially this could be a safe haven for a few or's contention that this is a domestic issue. obviously syria has a lot to do in this region and i thought i would like to get your thoughts on what came up in your discussions. [inaudible conversations] >> welcome at these issues that we have dealt with are mostly technical. we are talking about specific post the issues. and this of course will leave it up to any transitional government to advise his foreign policy, hopefully in consultation with the transitional democratic group. so this is really not our area, not our past, but that of a
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future democratic government. >> by nina cirino said, i am a student at georgetown university and my question is, have you considered the idea that, sort of the idea that accountability could cause members of the regime for individuals and groups associated with the regime to prolong power or to hold onto power for a longer period of time? have you considered the idea of certain groups and weigh that against the benefits of ending the conflict may be earlier? >> this issue has been quite sensitive because some syrians feel they want to actually bring these people who have been responsible for bloodshed and corruption to be really tried and made accountable. on the other hand, you have that
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pragmatic political need at the syrians have to face. so we recommend we tried to create somewhat a kind of combination of both conditional amnesty and also frustration and venting, rather than a complete detoxification, which my colleague here said and to also create encounters with the week local mediation because that has been done in syria, if not thousands, at least hundreds of years. so they are local mechanisms to deal with this and perhaps more positive ways than we imagined, but we think about legal solutions. in reality, what has been happening, the syrians are generally coming and i think there's almost an unspoken kind of discourse happening, where people are really encouraged and that generally already breaks
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into the side of human rights to the side of the people and the revolution. of course the situation is a must answer to directly with the incredible level of violation. but we actually feel that we need to do this in order to help undermine the regime and really break through its ranks. >> thank you. >> my name is angie and i am a student here in the u.s. in the middle of the revolution i started becoming afraid of what is happening in syria, associate and they started using the set. card. when i come and listen to initiatives like the ones who are doing, the future looks more optimistic than what i thought it would be. my question is when you think the regime is going to fold? >> i am looking for my crystal
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ball. >> perhaps we should begin a betting pool among the audience. but now, let's take that question a little bit more seriously. we are all familiar with the trends of the revolution. i think we have seen that during the period of may to august september, the revolution experienced quite significant gains. the capacity of the regime is command-and-control, significantly eroded. they seem to be an accelerating rate of defections among senior officers. we find ourselves in early october and it looks as if the incremental gain of the opposition enjoyed has slowed. there is potential for the reversal of some of those gains. what does that tell us about the time to rise and? we talk about the transition beginning now. what is the general state of
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play tell us about the potential time horizon? >> can i start quick >> go-ahead. >> i think the trajectory the you can expect an artist just my interpretation. this is how i see the trajectory i think you will see because of the way -- because of resources available to the regime, particularly on its reliable manpower, which will gradually see is a retreat from the east of the last and from the north to the south. two critical core area is that the regime needs to be able to exert, to hold in order to maintain itself as a functioning regime are basically guarding the gateway to the core areas, the coastal hamptons, also a core corridor that takes you as
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well. and damascus because it is the capital. it is the center of government. as long as they hold damascus, the machine can continue to be in charge of syria as a government. once they lose damascus, they will for sure. when they lose damascus, that is when the regime as a government, the ability t say i now will syria will fall, that doesn't necessarily mean the end of the regime as the entity that is capable to continue to exert influence on the ground. so there are two states. for two stages for the fall. there is going to be the fall of the actual government aspect of the regime in them is going to be the eventual dismantling of the regime itself, which will take much longer.
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depending on what happens in the next few, i would say, maybe by next summer, don't quote me on this. >> i don't give a debate, but we are now a day 18th month of the revolution. go back to yuriko, were peaceful demonstrators were all about and they were facing the banks and so on. look at the situation today. the peaceful demonstrations continue, but they are defended by tens of thousands of free syria army soldiers who would defect it from the regular armed forces. you have today over -- [inaudible] >> there are some civilians also. we need to acknowledge that. >> there are over 30 generals.
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over a year ago, we were constantly speculating whether damascus and the aleppo would be touched by this. well, over 50% of the aleppo today has been liberated. major territories in the north of syria have been liberated. border posts and iraq have been liberated. the regime is bombing the outskirts of damascus everyday. the regime now in its desperation is resorting to using make 23 intercept carries. the regime has lost the top security echelon has been decapitated not too long ago. so much so, the regime is in so much trouble, that yesterday and before yesterday and though holm found a bishara al-assad, very bad firefights, shootout and we
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understand one of the cousins of bishara al-assad has been killed. this is nothing -- the family is in trouble. compare this with a year ago when i think that would give us a glimpse into how long the end of the trajectory is going to be. i am humbly of the view that is not going to take a much longer. >> anything on this? >> i wanted to say to reinforce the concept of the demonstrations, two weeks ago we recorded more than 840 demonstrations around the country, that these people continue to go out despite the regime violence. is a testament to their desire to expedite the fall of the regime. but which you also see throughout these past 18 months is that each pillar of support of the regime has been shaking in their shaking faster and faster animal collapse. so you see that in areas like
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the media, where we have a significant number of media personalities who are now speaking out. you see that certainly and military sectors. you see that in the business sector. i don't know if everybody knows this, but there is now a price tag on bishara's head, where a group of businessmen have offered a bounty, $25 million for the head. so all of these pillars are shaking faster and faster. i don't think it's going to go to next summer. >> the point you raised about the secretary an issue, i think this is one the regime is relying on and that is why they created a hearing waste massacres in certain areas, especially in the western side of syria, which is really a vulnerable area, given its sectarian mixture, were you actually have one village
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alawite, one village sunni, one village shiite, which is a testimony to serious cohesion and coherent and harmonious existence over hundreds and even thousands of years. what happened is this hearing machine really tried to break his serve again eric coexistence to structures that really marked the region. the amazing thing is the level of self-restraint disturb people have shown. they have not made retaliation, even in areas that were not strongly protected. the syrian army has access to even village's grandmothers and they did not engage in sectarian violence. it is then fed fairly limited. i don't want to create an idealistic image, but considering the level of brutality and the provocation of sectarian sentiments come in the syrian people have shown tremendous immunity. anybody would be touched to see the slogan that the people
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raised only a day after a four-day campaign come or close to 900 people were massacred and many of them splattered after the irony really said to the city and the slogans they carry, where this revolution, we came out for human rights and for dignity and this is not a revolution of revenge. if we do that, then we have become you. it is deceased logan said that, even a day after such massacres should see the spirit of the syrian people. so of course the regime has been relying heavily on that and it has not worked the way it wanted. >> we may need to get chairs for our colleagues waiting to ask questions. >> just a follow-up on this, right after the close on hot events were publicized, you saw a good 10 to 15 new facebook pages. alawite with the revolution,
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kofi aleppo against revolution. that shows yet another traditional pillar again support is basically gone. >> my name is dean mr. roti. i met simpson right now actually lived in damascus from a september until this past june. my question comes more from mike harris then my work. i kind of wanted to draw an earlier comment, which is the question everyone highs, who is going to be the leader, the greatest problem that seemed in syria is lack of unity. i've two questions come about from this this lack of unity good one is when i was in damascus and i understand damascus is an isolated bubble. one of the things i would see his rallies at 200 people who are rallying for the shot. there is still communities very strongly support and are willing to continue despite, even after he falls, which is inevitable,
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then islam is going to be a little tougher, we'll see what happens. my first question is, how is this report taken into consideration those can parents, concerns of the people who are not necessarily pro-the opposition yet. my second question is regarding the lack of unity within the opposition is of. there's lots of different opposition groups. so my question is what efforts has this document made and your group made to try to organize those passwords so that there can be a theater who can be charismatic, maybe something like egypt and help move this revolution if you want to call it revolution forward. thank you very much. >> okay, i started off by saying really we wanted the cultures change to what is the
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alternative, not who is the alternatives. it is a natural reaction of people come the syrians who have lived for four decades under a single totalitarian or authoritarian leadership to think in those terms. it was one of the challenges we have to take up to get people to move away from the personality cults to send a much more civilized but you. in answer to your first question, please remember that we also know and that in damascus for many, many years and we know how these rallies are put together. as an employee of the state come in the way you go to a rally is in the morning you don't know there is a rally necessarily. the local spots show up in basically standard checking your name as you file out. i used to receive a letter of instructions, saying he will make sure that you take a roll call of everybody because
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everybody has to come back to work. anyone who does not come back, i have to report them so they can meet later punished. this was before the revolution, before the appraisal of anybody else. this is just to cheer for a rally against governors, anything. so we know how these things are put together. that is not to say there isn't also a significant number -- there were certainly at the beginning a number of people who are wavering or who didn't know, also remember we are concerned about the future. but as the regime has become more and more aggressive, as the battle has been closer and closer to home, i had relatives who came to visit from damascus this summer and stayed with us most of the summer. they will tell you a change in the mindset of people, where even if they don't have alternatives, they just want to
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see them go. they just want this over. so i think it has gone beyond that. i don't think right now there are many people who really -- obviously it does well vested in the regime and have a lot of interest. so i think that his backside of it. >> there was this part of that question the problem of how you reassure communities who are afraid of the future and what does the report say about that. and i think the response that the syrian participants in our group took to this issue because it is understood as critical that the document did have the potential to play a role in providing an alternative conception of the future that might diminish some of the fears and uncertainty about what lay ahead. and the way that was addressed by presenting very clear principle that should guide the
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emergence of a new syria in the post aside area. principles of pluralism, tolerance, rejection of revenge, rejection of exclusion, rejection of collective punishment and collective blame for the acts of individuals, a whole set of principles and guidelines and values that should communicate to constituencies, which remain uncertain that there are credible, legitimate groups within the syrian opposition who are determined to rebuild syria along the lines that it will provide space for all its components to participate. not those who perpetrated crimes will be exempt from accountability or justice. not the victims will be denied the opportunity for justice, but that there will be values, principles, strategies that
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guide the construction of a new syria, that offer all components of syrian society hope for something better than they have now. and it was precisely because this fear of change was seen as such an import barrier to those who are so central in the document. >> addressing fears basically. >> you want to speak up to this as well, because from our recent encounter with activists who came out of syria, workshop and assemble, we have some not those who directly came in some of them recently last. one of the reasons they positively responded to the document, and they share this with us, they said the documents power lies in its ability to create a national discourse rather than a revolutionary discourse because syrians have become weary of this ideological discourse is suffocated, a discourse inclusive of our
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national interest and creating a culture of citizenship rather than ideological loyalty. the syrians are very much determined to create an atmosphere and ambience and discourse that would be inclusive to all syrians are not just those program pollution is per processor per that. we are very much tired of that mentality. rami. >> i would go back to who is the alternative. it is not an answer. it is a process. we have to go through a process to bring a legitimate alternative to it if we know the answer right now, something well could be. unless we go and fight for the alternative and then we will know who is coming. i would be so comfortable if i write now know who will become the ultimate. but let me assure you for one thing, for four decades we did not even imagine. click syria at least opted to
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accept a new leadership to seek new leadership. right now it will be. >> very briefly it is worth repeating that these documents stress the principle of the equality of all syrians regardless of ethnic origin and sectarian affiliation. you are right, there are fissures in the opposition, but there is far more common ground than you might think, which includes the establishment of a civil and democratic state in syria. so i think to our overplaying divisions of the opposition, you are overplaying the support from the regime. i want to repeat, correct me if i'm wrong. civil servants also have
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salaries cut if they do not show to the demonstration. you may have seen fit to live in damascus, the schoolkids are happily away from school. they go to demonstrate. so the supported the regimes is far, far less than you might think. >> let's move on. if there are questions from the web or twitter, past and a and will try to integrate inter conversations, sir. >> joe guggenheim, just an interested citizen and want to commend you for the good work you are doing. but i want to raise a question about what can we do now in the future to stop the refugees and displaced and then horrible situation. the question is, can a cease-fire be achieved though in brutality of the assad regime and the fact that they may say one thing and then do another thing on the ground. but i wanted to focus on what
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happened with kofi annan trying to broker some type of settlement. i heard you speak about a month ago here in washington about this process when he talked about his whole career, but this question came up. he basically said they were trying to work at a cease-fire plan that he had proposed, where there would be a transition. and over the transition period, aside would sit down at some point, perhaps not away, but as part of the process and he said the russians would've supported this other element that was supporters would have gone along with this. he said the west insisted the assad had to step down first instead of the process where it would be understood he was a. if they could come to an agreement, just think of the international pressure in place if you have have the whole
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security council to get the assad regime to do the cease-fire committee would've attacked about the critical issue. i want to get your opinions on that process, where he saw that process and had any comment on it. >> kofi annan has a six-point plan. they manage to violate every point of the six-point plan. the assad regime accepted to withdraw military equipment from cities. that acceptance was more in the media ban on the ground. the assad regime agreed to stop shooting at unarmed civilians and that sounded very, very well on cnn, but on the ground, there were snipers to take out civilians. the six-point plan, needed in a political dialogue. and never mentioned the assad would later consider stepping down. the problem to reach in the
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six-point political dialogue is all the five previous points violated and therefore, the regime will tell you that it will accept a cease-fire immediately as unconditionally. i can tell you with confidence that the assad regime is lying through his teeth. >> i think my answer to that, and i'm quoting here, it is a credible threat. we cannot wish bishara al-assad to commit. that is what i think we really want, to hope this is just for him and hope he will follow that. we need to be credible. >> can i just correct one other point. he said it is the west to assist the assad method down. q-quebec so you know, it is the syrian people who want him to step down. the west is merely echoing what we want it to them a long time to get to that point. it took actually the heads of
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state and administration several months after repeated calls from the syrian people the assad that's down. >> i was just a they insisted that it happened right away. >> we won at first he goes, then the last thing. >> also i think one of the major weaknesses of the kofi annan plan, although syrians agree to the importance of the six-point plan and even the syrian army actually, if you remember, they agreed to the cease-fire, but this year and regime did not comply at all. in fact, they were sending more tanks into areas. even if they release prisoners like in one case they released a hundred prisoners or something but they were arrested more than 2000 people. but i think the real weakness of the kofi annan plan is the weakness.
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he dealt as if it was safer to work conflict. where in fact the whole issue is we have an entire society rebelling against a brutal dictatorship and has remained quite peaceful for the first five months in them because of the brutality, ended up getting armed himself defense. so many syrians felt that he failed, in the language used, do describe the conflict is a popular revolution based on civil rights, basic human rights and was treating it, if you remember, as a civil war and fighting amongst each other and the government be in one of the fractions. i really frustrated syrians. >> lets ms particular question. now, some of our colleagues would like to chime in with a couple more words. if you promise to be brief. >> i'll be very brief. >> i will be even briefer.
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>> i just want to say when you talk about issues of negotiation and peace plans, you have to assume that the other party a civilized. when you have the other party using barrel bombs to hit civilian areas, when you have snipers taking our children and bloodlines, this is not a regime you can negotiate an eventual use. this is a regime that has to go. >> in two sentences come i was simply direct you to an interview that is perfected the syrian prime minister has two days ago, in which he said this was for the first time a public that he is gone but the most senior leaders of the baath party, to ask for a cease-fire and for there to be a political dialogue. the assad said no way, we will neither dialogue, nor will be
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with anyone with a security solution in a security solution alone. >> we have a number of questions from viewers online and following on twitter. one, rafif, is directed at you very straightforward. but with the hash tag you mentioned? and kidneys à la? >> story on a -- thank you. >> two additional questions. one, the fall of assad would provide a couple of opportunity. but what force can or will be used to secure stability in the post assad. and i imagine that the implication is that some external force might be needed. our syrians prepared to accept their? >> and external peacekeeping
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force in the period? >> well, public opinion is that any public opinion in the world. so you do have many people who want an intervention immediately in order to stop the bloodletting. and you have those people crying for no-fly zones and those people who call for safe events and those who don't want an intervention at all. and so again, public opinion is divided on this, but i think they are all united at the bloodletting needs to stop immediately. we have now an average of over 150 people, civilians killed every day and it is absolutely outrageous of the international community, and that 19 months continues to debate what to do what not to do. >> and a final question for twitter will direct towards afra. what the project supporters also
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support referrals to the international criminal court that might also implicate the free syrian army? >> in fact in the document, we recommend subscribing to human rights is not exclusive to one of my, that if there has been violations by either side that we need to be accountable and many syrians i've talked to agree with this. in fact, in last week there has been public outcries to subscribe to human rights,, then came out and made declarations that they subscribe to the geneva convention of prisoners. some apologized for the uncontrolled execution of certain security forces. so there has been actually an incredible debate between the public and the free syrian army, in which there is so much pressure for accountability, not
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just on the side of the regime, particularly on the syrian army because that is the future of the country where we are heading. >> just to add to that, the local coordination committees and syria was instrumental in getting different battalions of the free syrian army to sign a code of conduct based on the international law. beyond that, when there were news reports surfacing about ssa infractions, and many opposition groups on the ground immediately issued condemnation and the idea is that we are seeking dignity, democracy and freedom, so we have to be better than the regime. and yes, we are same people who commit atrocities will be held accountable. >> with respect to the international criminal court, i would like to signal an issue that i first the as introducing significant tension between the international community and a
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transitional authority in a post-assad syria. that has to do with control and authority over the judicial processes through which leading perpetrators on either side of this conflict will be held accountable for their acts. the syrian participants in our project felt very strongly that any kind of prosecutorial process must remain understeering controller. there is an interest in international support. there is an interest in international funding, but there is a great deal of concern that the cost of cooperation with the icc and international bodies is that syrians will be compelled to concede on the possibility of the death penalty as a potential outcome of a conviction. and that raises very difficult
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issues for syrians who have been subject to such extraordinary brutality by this regime. and so, the question of whether perpetrators will be held accountable, either from the opposition or the regime raises one set of issues. but the frameworks within which they will be held accountable raises a different set of issues and it is one i anticipate will require significant bargaining and negotiation in order to resolve, once the opportunity -- once things have reached that particular point. let's return to the audience and take these as the last three questions that we have. sir. >> hi, i am with the international public policy group in thank you again for being here. my question is in regards to the local governments for me to syria as the opposition takes certain parts of syria back.
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how do you facilitate economic and social policy between the two so once aside is toppled, it is easier. >> so with the emergence of local councils, they have established their own structures. they have committed to working in collaboration with whatever transitional government does emerge. so we are securing agreements as they develop, as they empower themselves. there is a positive outlook. the fact they took the initiative to do this, the fact they are getting international support in various forms i think indicates that they are moving towards that post-assad more cohesive formula. >> can i just add them say as a number of group that are now associated with the civil administration councils, and these include groups that have freely formed. i would like to name one, which
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is the reconstruction group. it is a group of civil engineers, architects who have basically decided to go around the damaged areas assessing the amount of damage, trying to put together a sort of, you know, putting in priority what needs to be done first in trying to get some sense of the costs needed and start working on that. so there is a lot of that work. >> thank you. >> i am also at public international law policy groups. and my question goes back to the process of crafting the documents. i was wondering if you put out for additional input about some of the issues that were debated most intense play as the document was coming together to conform that my point to a more
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contentious issues moving forward and if there were elements of issues that were not entirely resolved or could not make the final document that any of you wish could have been included that could make the version as it was released. >> i think each group had its own sort of contentions. one thing i remember from our group about which was the social economic, wasn't contentious, but you can see that it was difficult for us to gauge how bad the situation was going to be when the collapse -- you know, when the fall of the regime occurred. ..
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for international aid for example and i mean international support and how it might help the positions so would the syrians be willing to deal with bad and of course i mentioned earlier the whole issue of international involvement. although it gives legitimacy to remove polarization and even
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attention around the personality, around assad, yet there there is this concern for keeping national sovereignty but in general my impression is that one of the issues, and to me it's a testimony of the syrian commitment to the discourse of citizenship -- the unity is the issue of how to ensure minority rights without institutionalizing set tearing us in. the syrians adamantly are not in favor of the iraqi kind of situation and particularly of the lebanese model. they are very wary of that and given our history and coexistence in the way we have lived as a society. there is a lot of tension around ensuring minority rights and the presentation without institutionalizing that. there is generally -- those of us who spent many years are grew up in the west we were
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interested in minority issues and to me that captured national discourse -- syrian discourse. regardless of sectarian elements and of course you know we were trying to make them aware that we could do that while still ensuring the rights and representation of minority groups and also of women. >> in the security sector reform we had one major shouting match and there were some folks who wanted to abolish the services altogether. now as you might imagine these have been political prisoners for a long time and it took quite a while to tell them that you need an apparatus for example to assess the foreign threat and it is a political. you need in uprising inside in order to investigate major crimes and this is a political
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but by the time we had convinced them -- [inaudible] >> and economics it really was just a matter of balancing the priorities. certainly we have no disagreements over some of the social issues. we will have to confront and in our group the issue of protection of minorities and vulnerable communities was really not a debate. we all agreed with the need to do that so we didn't have many shouting matches. they had more drama. security. >> we will take our final question. i will ask our panelists if they have any final very brief comments they would like to make. i will make one very brief final comment myself and then we will adjourn. >> ted meyer. the title of today's event suggests an ability to see into
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the future. i'm wondering if this gift of prophecy is based on the conviction that we will give up until we have affected regime change in syria or are you simply toeing the party line? i know some of you have presented evidence that suggests the regime is on its last legs but i think it would be used extremely naïve of us not to question their objectivity not to -- given your interest. no offense by the way. my sources information paying quite a different picture of the situation in syria. >> are we wrong? >> first of all i think we have never claimed that we have this solution for the problems in syria or our efforts to manage the problem, to manage the crisis that is going on there. no matter how the situation will evolve in the country we will keep doing our best to manage it, to minimize the cost.
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that is what our mission is and that is what we are doing. >> can i just say -- >> to answer the first part of the question, yes we will keep doing what we do until a successful. >> they are referring to the united states government. of. >> i can't speak to the united states government that with regard to objectivity no we are not necessarily objected that we can look at the syrian situation both emotionally and analytically and if you look at it from an analytical perspective you see an economy that is on it's last its last leg. you see rampant defection and you see sectors of all society standing against the assad -- said this speaks to -- [inaudible] >> all i would say is the regime, it's not a question is if the regime will fall, the regime will fall for sure.
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the question is what will the and i think that is more perhaps where you should be asking and looking. will it be at the cost of the entire destruction of the country, reducing it back to the stone age or will there be enough left for us to rebuild? this is what this project seeks to do. it seeks to provide those who are trying to continue and rebuild syria with the information with recommendations along with many other people who are working in similar areas. so it is a question of cost, not of if. >> many areas believe that the regime has already fallen. but that is -- the syrians are not fighting other international forces. i mean iran is currently involved and so is hezbollah and so is russia and so is china
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because it's quite interesting to see how the will of the syrian people is being blocked by so many international interest. syria now has become the ground for a great deal of international tension and it has actually exposed the lack of the rule of law internationally. we do not live in a global community where people are taking account. and i do understand the concerns of the left and their interest in justice but sometimes i'm afraid that they also have lost their moral compass. they are seeing a society, civilians, women and children being brutalized but because the there concerns about imperialism and globalization, they are becoming, they are showing a blind eye to the suffering of the people who actually want to take back their destiny into their old hands. it is so sad for me to see many individuals and groups and even
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organizations who stand against the will of the syrian people and stand with dictatorship. >> we have one additional question. >> my name is julia and i am syrian too. i just finished my masters and a i find it difficult to picture what syria is. what the future is rather than who is replacing who. it is what syria, what is the future of syria. my concern is how to communicate your vision i am visiting d.c. and i'm glad to hear this
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discussion but speaking to my family and relatives, i don't think the majority of the people really know what it is basically. and i think this is very important for the majority to know what it is because there is a -- to stay with the status quo. it is always safe so i think it's very important for us to decide what it is and to communicate especially for the majority who don't have access to the internet, who don't have access to this information. i live in north america and i have access and still find it difficult to see what it is. >> rami just a quick response to that question. >> first of all we are communicating the message.
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syria is ours and it will be what we wanted to be. it will take a lot of hard work and we will work with everyone. we have the vision and we have the process and we have the method. already we have done two workshops with syrian activist and we continue doing those there are. we communicate with the syrian people. we have a weekly talk show to discuss with the syrian people with vision and how to move from a to z. >> thank you. colleagues, and a brief final observations before we wrap things up? >> we will go --
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>> i will just say that our next step now is to begin to take this document and socialize at it in basically disseminated as rami said and engage with many people and i would also add when we have we put together the people who were supposed to be engaged in making this document, and not a significant number of people were selected primarily because they were very well connected within syrian society or the opposition and are very qualified to carry out this process. this is now where we are. >> one of the questions i keep getting an a with -- everywhere specific syrian activist is how about the day before or today? given some of the concerns you raised, the real frustration and the long process that is happening and also the cost that
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syrians have been paying. having participated in this project i feel that we are global citizens and increasingly so. because we really are living in communities that are becoming increasingly more intertwined and our destinies are more intertwined. security in the world does not just belong to a specific continent or a specific country. if we do not create will add an international level we will not be able to have justice and basic economic minimum standards around the world. and we will still deal with a great deal of anger and frustration which ends up being expressed in wrong channels and leads to violence and leads to frustrated discourses that are not capable of articulating these basic needs in terms of human rights and economic basic needs as such. so i think all of us have a responsibility to work on creating the will of law and
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accountability globally and not allow one family or dictatorship to take a nation hostage. as a syria the syrian i feel very frustrated to see things that used to frustrate me happening to my own country where i was more. i feel ashamed as a person. i belong to a planet and it happened within a matter of few months an incredible massacre. i find it very frustrating that we live on a planet where these things that i actually believe could easily be solved, there are so many vested interest when it comes to capitalism and arms reduction that allow these atrocities that affects the very daily lives of millions and millions of people. >> to my series and friends, the last questioner. many people fear after 48 years of the status quo what will happen next?
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so it is quite natural that change is in the visible and the syrian people have demanded the change in the mere fact that despite all the hardship, they are in their 19th month determined to topple this regime in order for them to be free and syria is on the right side of history. >> when they hold up the signs and they say, we will remain here, it means it does not belong to the assad family. i would like to express my thanks to everybody for taking the time. i would advise everyone that this is a living document and we are accepting feedback so people could review and give us constructive feedback, action all feedback so we can continue to look at the document. we we are also on twitter so if
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you are twitter users please follow a set tva underscore syria and to look out for the hashtag. >> thank you so much and also the debate is going to continue. among this audience and the people inside syria. we are blessed to have an on line forum to start among the syrian people to keep giving feedback. we have already engaged on line as well as underground. it is working inside the country to make sure that we have the ground for implementation inside the country. you can communicate with us -- [inaudible] >> thank you all very much.
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we began our session this morning by making observations about two conceptions of the syrian opposition. the first, that it lacks a vision for the future and the second, that the syrian opposition is too fractious into fragmented to develop a vision for the future. i've hope if nothing else the session this morning has helped communicate a very different impression of the syrian opposition, very different understanding of its capacity for collaboration, for cooperation and for a commitment to the development of the vision for future of syria that i think holds out significant hope for those who are uncertain about where syria in in a post-assad era is headed in with that i would like to extend my thanks to all of my colleagues appear on the stage of my thanks to all of you for joining us this morning for this very interesting discussion of what
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will follow the hall that -- the fall of assad. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> we need to tackle our nation's challenges before they tackle us. we need to strengthen medicare and social security and we are putting the ideas on the table on how to do that. we are not going to try to scare seniors. we are going to save these benefits for seniors and for my generations of these promises are kept. >> they have laid out clearly they say what barack obama and joe biden did is they have endangered as medicare. they have stolen money from medicare and all of this and you see the ads and you hear everything they say. nothing could be further from the truth.
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>> americans are not the only people who have a september 11 international story. santiago's chili, there was a september 11 event that had a dramatic impact on the history and the memory. on that day in 1973, military officers from the trillion army and their units staged a full scale assault on their own country. they took over radio stations, police stations and other centers of power. in santiago they storm the presidential palace and basically the white house, charged through -- and when they were done the president was dead. these events on september 11
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began a reign of terror writ led by an army general named a gusto pinochet. pinochet regime remained in power and was responsible for torture murder and oppression. what most chileans did not know in 1973 and what many americans still do not know was that the coup of september 11, 1973, was the work of intelligence operatives, american intelligence operatives and they took their orders directly from the white house. >> this weekend on lectures in history the cia and cold war regime change saturday nate at eight eastern and sunday at 1:00 on c-span threes american history tv. >> two of the country's youngest mayors representing holyoke massachusetts and ithaca new york were in georgetown university to discuss local politics and the youth vote. it was part of the millennial
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values symposium focusing on democracy in the u.s. and young voters. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> i would like to hear from all of you and you know last night governor romney talked about states as the laboratory of democracy and so while that may have been a republican, first democrat, to got me thinking about our mayors and the work they do in their communities and so i'm going to hand the floor were to them. if you could both talk a little bit about how you see the future of american policy. >> thank you erin for having us first of all and thanks all of you for coming to this event. i do believe that our politics is local and this may or i've had the opportunity to witness decision-making are local level that has ramifications for the state and federal government. i'll just briefly talk about my background and how i first got
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into the position as mayor. holyoke is a small city of 40,000 people outside of springfield in the western part of massachusetts. i was born and raised there and went to the city schools. when i got into brown i studied urban studies fair and unlike a lot of folks my age i just come back to my hometown and give back to the city that i thought i given me the opportunities that i had. holyoke has a rich history. it was the first place involve the ball in the first industrial city in the entire united states and the first to make paper or so we are nicknamed the paper city. like a lot of cities in the northeast we were once a booming industrial city but at the same time folks came into holyoke and a lot of the factories closed or moved overseas so we right now have a high of 11% employment -- unemployment rate. about 50% of our population is latino mostly puerto rican
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descent and a diversity as well. so i got elected last november. there were four of us running in the election. and nonpartisan race on the local level so the top vote getters faced off against each other in november. i won with 53% of the vote and i became mayor in january at the age of 22. then i turned 23 and i will be 24 and january so i'm quickly getting up there. [laughter] is a very stressful job but also very very rewarding. there is nothing more special than being a mayor in a city that you were born and where your family still lives in your friends are there and the school that you want to is distill their and your teachers are oftentimes still teaching the public schools. given my age -- it's been a rewarding experience and we are forecast on four different issues in particular, that is education. with a 53% graduation rate over four years so a lot of urban
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centers around the country. we do have challenges around education and their graduation rate. economic development like i said trying to convert from an industrial city a paper make in city into an economy around innovation and technology. this november we will open up a 170 million-dollar high-performance center sponsored by m.i.t. northeastern and the university of massachusetts. that will be a catalyst for economic development in the city and a lot of folks -- one of the poorest cities in the state two hours to arcelus to their campus and the answer is we have the cheapest renewable energy of all of new england. we have marketing tools to bring companies into our -- public safety obviously my job is mayors to be the chief marketing officer and making sure we are expanding our tax base and to do that we think people downtown is a safe place to invest and spend
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time with your family and friends. strategies that improve the relationship between our police officers and our residents and all throughout that making sure we evoke a sense of -- the one thing that has been made his challenge to holyoke is our perception and and image so i ran a campaign based on beginning to tell the story about the city of holyoke that we are more visited than problems and challenges for the city of opportunity and possibilities. to give me the sense of importance of young people and just like my election made of really big statement for a city. we have a strong mayor former government. i ran against a 68-year-old incumbent mayor has been mayor for a couple of years and i was on the council for years and. i ran a positive campaign and it was not personal against the incumbent but it was a choice between maintaining the status quo or moving in a different direction. for the city of holyoke a postindustrial city to elect a
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22-year-old to the mayor's office sends a strong statement about what her city wanted in what direction we wanted to move into. always want to thank you all for being here and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you so much. thank you for being here at hogwarts. it's a beautiful library. you actually study here or is it just for witchcraft? [laughter] it really is an absolute pleasure to be here. the last time i was in washington d.c. i had a meeting with my new york senator, chuck schumer, charles schumer in and if anybody is from new york in what they say. the safest place in washington to be as between chuck schumer and a camera. he walks into the room and scans
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right over me and i say hi i am svante myrick. what? i am the mayor of ithaca. i don't understand. iamb sub69 was elected. how did something like that happen? [laughter] i think that is actually the question i get the most often. how do they do it? i can show you really what people are actually want to know is what would convince you to run for mayor? what would make you think that you would even have a shot? part of it is coming from where i came from in my story, becoming elected mayor is not the least likely part of my own story. i was born and raised the beginning part of my life into poverty and homelessness. my mom raised the four of us
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children under pretty tough conditions and she was able to get all four of us to college. i made it to cornell university. getting there you believe anything can happen you believe in that sort of american dream that anybody who works hard can accomplish great things. so with that dilution in mind, when i was a junior, i was working with young people and tutoring and i was -- you will have to excuse me if i'm out of wrath. i got dropped off in the wrong part of town so i got a cab here quick. it was nine blocks away and i had to run here so youth and politics that is one advantage. i am still a little winded. you know, yo t


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